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Faded Rivalry December 14, 2011

Posted by calvin in Uncategorized.

When I moved to Buffalo, it was the first season after the NHL lockout and it was the era of the fast & the furious Sabres. Ruff rolled out line after line of young skaters who whizzed up and down the ice and scored with relative impunity. The current core of Derek Roy, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville and the others were not even among the top six forwards! It was easy to fall in love with that team, with co-captains Chris ‘Mr. Clutch’ Drury & Danny Briere leading the charge.

Anyways, back to the point of the conversation.. back then the Ottawa Senators were the Sabres’ most hated enemies. Even before Chris Neil’s dirty hit on Drury and the subsequent mass brawl (who can ever forget Lindy Ruff standing at the bench hurling profanities at Sens coach Bryan Murray), there was a lot of bad blood and fervent rivalry with the Sens. Eight games a season between division rivals tended to get the fanbases quite riled up.

Ever since the Sens broke up their ‘pizza’ line of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza, it seems the team has fallen from contention and has gone to full rebuilding mode. The downside from the Sabres’ fans perspective is the ending of a very heated rivalry, which is a bit of a shame as it made for some very good hockey games and water cooler fodder.

Last night’s game, while not in the same category as some of the legendary games we’d seen in years past was chippy and competitive nonetheless. And had an ending that we’re becoming all too familiar with. Sabres unable to hold a 2-1 lead going into the third period at home and losing. They actually got a point out of the game which might have been lucky, considering how they were overrun in the third period.

I hate when the Sabres lose. I hate it twice as much when they lose after leading. I hate it twice as much more than that when it’s a division rival. Grr.



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